Of course you can be confident and submissive at the same time

This post is inspired by one of those questions I’ve seen online that I just cannot compute. The answer to the question, which frankly doesn’t need repeating, is that of course you can be submissive and confident at the same time. Submission is about handing control over to someone you trust, and confidence is about knowing you have value and are good at something. If you’re reading this and can’t understand how those two completely separate concepts contradict each other, then I feel better because I don’t get it either.

Submissive men who actually give a shit what their partners want are rare and precious, of fucking course they should feel confident that they have value and not settle for any old asshole. Seriously, read basically any post on this blog about how easy it is to impress dominant women. If you are willing to pay attention, listen to what a woman wants, and actually do those things (or honestly tell her that doesn’t work for you, you get points for that too), you can hold out for just the right dom.

To be fair, simply being submissive can be a real knock to a man’s confidence. It’s hard to believe in yourself when the whole world seems to be saying that you’re being a man wrong. On the other hand, it takes tremendous confidence and strength to look at everything society tells you about how to be a man and say “No, I’m going to do it my way.” I personally see submission as masculine, but I understand how it can take some work for submissive men to change their own definitions of what’s manly.

I don’t hate it if someone feels a little vulnerable, a little unsure exactly what’s going to happen when they’re tied to something and I’m standing behind them with a bag of toys, but a scene is not a relationship! A scene is not your whole life! And frankly, if you submit out of insecurity you are bad at it!

Not only can you be submissive and confident at the same time, but you need to be both to be any good at submitting. If you want to be my sub (or for that matter my friend) you have to make my life better, not worse. If you’re so crushingly insecure and self-loathing that you “submit” because you need someone to tell you what to do, you’re making yourself a chore. Running my own life is quite enough work, I have no interest in running yours too.

Also, putting up with seriously insecure people is boring as shit. Not only can I not fill the hole inside you, but trying is just tedious. Needing a little reassurance now and then is perfectly normal, but when every conversation is one long, painful attempt to convince you that you’re okay, I’m going to decide I’d rather watch paint dry than talk to you. While I’m at it, it’s pretty insulting to imply, if not outright say, that I’m wrong to find someone interesting/worth being friends with/attractive, so don’t do it.

Your sexual tastes/how you like to run your relationships have nothing to do with you believing that you have value and are good at things. For example, I’m a dom. That in no way makes me better than anyone else and it doesn’t automatically make me good at things. All being a dom means to me is that I really like getting my way. How does that connect in any with with whether or not I’m good at stuff? Being good at dominating people is something to be proud of, and so is being good at submitting to people, but simply having the desire to dominate or submit just doesn’t tell me anything about how good you are at running your life.

Speaking of running your life, I think being convinced that submissive people can’t be confident is a sign you don’t have nearly enough going on in your life. It’s a lot harder to convince yourself that you suck when you do something you’re good at on a regular basis. On the other hand, if you spend all your free time sitting around thinking about how much you suck, of course you’re going to feel terrible. You’ll feel a lot better if you can break the suck cycle, I promise.

Finally, it’s worth repeating that being submissive in no way means you can’t be confident. It’s just not even related and submissive people are great anyway!

Do your research

Not so long ago I saw a post in that one Fetlife group I like about how bluntly telling people to do their own research isn’t very helpful and that people who are just starting out might not know where to start doing their own research. And just recently I saw a couple more threads from people who supposedly wanted to learn how to be good subs/how to find a relationship/some vague form of guidance but couldn’t be fucking bothered to do the tiniest bit of research on their own, which finally annoyed me enough to finish this post off and publish it.

Yes, lots of people want “guidance” or “tips” or “do’s and don’ts.” But here’s the thing: I don’t care. Bitch, you do in fact need to do your own fucking research. Seriously, you’re in the submissive men and women who love them group and didn’t manage to read a single fucking sticky? They. Are. Right. At. The. Top. Of. The. Page.

Honestly, if you are on Fetlife, you have access to some sort of computery device. That means you also have access to, wait for it, waaaaaaaait for it, GOOGLE. Fucking google it you lazy little shit. No seriously, you can directly fucking google stuff like “how to approach dominant women” or “what is a d/s relationship like?” and get some really useful results. Oh, you can’t absorb information that wasn’t told directly to you? Fuck off. Don’t come back until you actually want to learn and don’t pretend that your utter refusal to read anything that doesn’t start with @yourname means you are in any way willing to learn.

If you want to be spoon fed, fucking pay someone. Hell, I’ll google things for your lazy ass and send them to you with your name at the top if you pay me enough. You have to bring something to the table if you want people to put any real effort into helping you, and a boring question we’ve all seen a thousand times already is not enough unless it’s accompanied by cash.

That said, it is totally okay to read the goddamn stickies and not immediately understand every detail. Just for the love of god tell us what you’ve read already and what part of it you didn’t understand. Do literally anything to prove you put the tiniest amount of effort into learning things on your own and we will meet you halfway, but you have to put in that tiny scrap of effort first.

If you aren’t willing to try because it’s haaaaaaard and you’re lazy and useless, then congrats, you will never have a dom of your own! Do you think “Waaaaaahhhhhhh! Waaaaaaaaahhhhh! But that’s haaaaaard and I don’t wanna!” will fly in a relationship with an actual dominant woman? Honestly, what do you think happens in a d/s relationship? Protip: you don’t sit on your ass all day while your uber-dominant-latex-clad Mistress worships your dick. Why yes, I am here to crush your dreams 🙂

Regular human beings who aren’t getting paid to put up with your shit expect a goddamn grownup who is willing to pull their own weight in a relationship, not a whiny little baby they have to do everything for. Even someone who likes micromanaging and giving orders wants a competent adult for a partner, not a useless lump. It is simply not attractive to insist your partner do literally all of the work.

No, I don’t fucking care that it’s hard. Adulting in general is hard. Getting up and going to work when you didn’t sleep well and the weather sucks and you desperately want to stay in bed is hard. Packing a lunch every day so you can save money and pay off your debts faster is hard. Staying in and cleaning your home when you want to go out and have fun is hard. You fucking do it anyway if you want to be a grownup and not a spoiled child.

While I’m at it, have you sad bastards seriously never once tried to learn anything by looking it up online? Guess what, the same skills apply! Search for a thing, read a bunch of the results that come up. See if multiple sources agree with each other. Iff 5 sources agree and 1 doesn’t, there’s a good chance that the odd one out is wrong. Come on, this is basic internetting 101. If you’re too stupid and/or lazy to do any of your own research, why on earth would any dom ever want you?

Now, it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed out on perfectly lovely people who had a tragic failure of common sense and would immediately have gotten their shit together when they were told that asking people to spoonfeed them information is lazy and pathetic, but you know, that’s a chance I’m willing to take. Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour anyway, so what exactly am I supposed to be missing out on?

All of that isn’t to say it’s not okay to make mistakes, but there are different kinds of mistakes and some of them are much more tolerable than others. If you make an effort to do your own research but screw it up and get the idea that submissive men are expected to call all dominant women mistress, you can recover from that very easily by explaining why you did it, apologizing, and not doing it again. As much as I loathe being called mistress, I’m willing to give someone points for trying to be respectful as long as they do better when they get better information. Other mistakes, like showing up on fetlife and expecting people to spoonfeed you information, are more of a character flaw (specifically a combination of laziness and entitlement) than they are a mistake, so I’m not at all confident they can be fixed.

And no, I don’t expect this almost 1000 word blog post to fix anyone’s character flaws either. If I could do that, I’d be a millionaire 🙂 This post is just me blowing off steam and making a space for other people who also can’t stand that particular form of laziness and entitlement to say “yeah, that’s incredibly fucking irritating!”

How do you get started?

A question I see a lot in groups like novices & newbies is “How do I get started? Where do I even begin?” It’s tough being a newbie dom, at least if you’re a sub you can ask your dom to tell you what they want. Assuming you even want to give your submissive rules/take control of some portion of their life, here are some ideas for you.

For starters, what do you actually like?

Don’t think about what stereotypes say you’re supposed to like, don’t think about any porn you’ve watched, don’t think about any stories you’ve read, think about what actually matters to you. Is there something that just makes you happy? It could be something as simple as your partner warming up your towel in the dryer while you’re in the shower or making sure to text you good morning and good night every day. Something small and meaningful is a great candidate for a first rule.

Alternately, is there something your partner does that just irritates the shit out of you? You could make a rule that they aren’t allowed to do that, or have to ask permission,or have to do something you especially like before they can do they annoying thing.

Either way, I recommend picking one or two things that you actually care about and starting with those. There are so many scripts out there you could follow, and the big problem with all of them is that if you don’t personally care about doing the thing, then it’s not going to work. It doesn’t matter how hot it is when you read about a slave kneeling perfectly on command, if you don’t personally care about it then don’t make it a rule.

There are no few stereotypes out there about how doms are supposed to behave and what kinds of rules they’re supposed to have, but rules that you don’t care about are just one more chore to remember. If you don’t personally care about a rule, you’re not going to remember to enforce it and that’s just going to suck for everyone. If someone loves having rules, they’re going to feel unloved and unseen if they make a mistake and you don’t notice, and then you’re going to feel like an asshole for making them feel that way and that’s a feedback loop that doesn’t do anyone any good.

Just because your s-type has been fantasizing about having a d-type of their very own for years and has been very insistent that they want ALL THE RULES RIGHT NOW that doesn’t make it a good idea. Don’t do it! Fantasy is great but it’s not reality. Suddenly having to remember and follow all of the rules all at once is just too much, and it’s going to be jarring as fuck even if you do deeply and sincerely want to have all of the rules. You simply can’t expect that going from 0 to 60 is actually going to be fun, that’s not how humans work.

Sure, for a weekend, tops, all of the rules can be fun, but every day? When you’re tired? When it’s a Wednesday that feels like a Friday, and you still have two more days to get through? When everything has gone wrong and you were stuck at work for an extra two hours fixing somebody else’s fuckup and you want nothing more than to sit down on the couch and do absolutely nothing for the rest of the night? You simply can’t, as the s-type, expect that going from no rules to all the rules instantly is actually going to be fun. It’s much more likely to go from “This is great!” to “This is a lot!” to “I’m not sure I like this… to “Oh my fuck time out” and frankly it takes an unusual level of self-awareness to realize that the problem is having to learn all of those rules at once and not that your dom is somehow doing it wrong.

Sadly, it’s also a recipe for resentment if the d-type doesn’t realize how unreasonable it is to give someone all the rules at once. You can’t expect someone to get everything right instantly, learning and habit formation both take time. The most willing and motivated s-type in the world simply cannot get everything right immediately. It’s not that they don’t care or aren’t trying, it’s that humans have limits.

The reason I’m harping on that so hard is that I’ve seen horror story after horror story online from people who tried to go from no rules to all the rules instantly and had it blow up in their faces. I’d like for people to avoid that if they can.

Once you’ve decided on your rule or two to start with, try that out for a couple of weeks. You’ve got to see what it’s like to keep up your rules on a Monday when you’re having a Monday before you add more of them. After your trial period you should debrief, talk openly about what you liked, what you didn’t, what was easy, what was hard, what you want to keep doing, what you want to stop. After that, make your adjustments and maybe add another thing, but if and only if you both want to.

You are not required to aim for 24/7 total power exchange. You don’t have to have any rules outside of sexytime if you don’t fucking want to, and you’re allowed to dial it back at any time if either one of you is more stressed by following the rules than they are satisfied by having or giving rules.

Don’t forget you are not required to have standing rules at all. Not all doms or all subs give a shit about rules. God knows I can’t be fucking bothered to check up on whether someone did the thing or not. If it feels like homework, don’t force yourself! This is supposed to fun, dammit.

It may be that your only rule is for the s-type to do what the d-type says when they ask for something. Not everybody wants service all the time, it’s totally okay just to want to have your partner do what you tell them if you do give them an order. It may be that you try out a bunch of rules and only a couple of them end up sticking. It’s okay to only have a few rules, it in no way means you’re less of a dom if having tons of rules doesn’t work for you. It’s okay to drop rules that don’t work for you anymore even if they worked great for years. It’s okay to have temporary rules too.

Any rules that make you and your partner happy are good rules, no matter how small or silly they are.

“what can i expect as a submissive male”

Yay for interesting search terms! Since I obviously don’t know what it’s like to be a submissive man I would really love it if my commentors would jump in with anything I’ve missed – I’m sure there will be plenty.

First of all, some people may be jerks. I believe they’re a minority, but they do exist. That’s kind of a downer to start this post on, I know, but I think awkwardly sidling around the elephant in the room just wastes everyone’s time. Don’t worry, there’s happier stuff coming up. Anyway: jerks exist. Even in the scene, where you would expect that people who are open-minded enough to even identify as kinky in the first place would be able to understand people not wanting to stuff themselves into tiny little boxes marked “man” or “woman”, you’ll probably run into a douchebag or two who is freaked out by the idea of a guy who refuses to cut off every piece of himself that doesn’t fit in the “man” box. You should ignore those douchebags as much as possible and remember that straight (or bi or pan) dominant women think submissive men are hot as fuck.

You’re also going to hear a lot of idiotic bullshit about how there are dozens and dozens of submissive men for every dominant woman and everything is terrible and you’re going to die aloooooooone!!11! I’ve already yelled a bunch about how that’s complete bullshit so I’m just going to quickly recap that here and direct you to some of my other posts for more detail: 100 Submissive Men For Every Dominant Woman and This is your competition. Basically submissive men who give a shit what their partners want and bother to read a fucking profile are not a dime a dozen, they are rare and precious. The dime a dozen guys who get counted in all those terrible statistics are the ones who think “here’s what you could do for my penis!” is an enticing message. You can do better than that, so don’t worry about never finding a dom. The upside of how many barely-literate assholes there are out there is that dominant women are pitifully easy to impress. No really, we are So Fucking Easy To Impress. So easy! When I get a message from a stranger that doesn’t call me by a title I didn’t agree to or launch straight into a list of his kinks like he’s placing an order at a fucking drive-thought, I am seriously thrilled.

All that stuff you saw in porn? Not gonna happen. Sorry to crush your dreams, but porn that’s written by men to make money off of submissive (or “submissive”) men by appealing to as many of them as possible does a shitty job of depicting much of anything that dominant women actually like. Some women do enjoy dressing up for a scene, but lots of us can’t be fucking bothered. Some women do enjoy role playing a cold, bitchy persona in a scene but lots of us are openly affectionate with our partners and play partners while we’re tying them up and hitting them with stuff. Some women enjoy giving orders, some of us hate doing that. Some of us get loud, some of us never raise our voices.

It’s not fundamentally bad to enjoy porn or to want to try out things you’ve seen, but you will never ever get anywhere with a real live dominant woman if you can’t put the porn out of your mind for five goddamn minutes and treat her like a person. She doesn’t exist to get you off, she has needs and desires of her own that you will absolutely have to give a shit about if you want her to give a shit about yours.

Speaking of dominant women being people, you can expect us to, you know, be people. Sometimes we come home from work too tired for that scene we had planned, sometimes we have a shitty day and just want to cuddle on the couch and watch some tv, sometimes we just have stuff to do besides have an hours long scene. We get sick and need someone to bring us soup, we get sad and want someone to stroke our hair, we make mistakes and get things wrong and generally don’t know everything. We’re just people, and if you can’t deal with that you’re going to need to see a pro.

As for events, you will not be leaving your very first munch with a hot dominant girlfriend and you will not immediately live out all of your kinky fantasies at your first play party. You can, however, leave your first munch with new friends who may end up dating you or introducing you to someone you end up dating, and you can leave your first party having learned a lot about what regular old non-pornstar kinky people actually do and having had a good time hanging out with your friends.

No few guys seem to have completely unreasonable expectations for their first events and end up really disappointed because of that. Guys, you’ll honestly be a lot happier if you go in with reasonable expectations. Munches are just an opportunity for kinky people to hang out together, they’re basically meetups. Would you expect to go to one meetup for writers and come home with a girlfriend? No? Then why would you expect to go to one munch and come home with a dominant girlfriend? On the other hand, if you give yourself a reasonable goal like “talk to two people you don’t already know” then it’s a lot easier to go home feeling like a success.

Sadly, you can expect to be contacted mostly by scammers. Some dominant women enjoy searching for and reaching out to submissive men, but some of us are shy. The big thing you need to know about scammers is that if something sounds too good to be true it almost certainly is, and non-scammers won’t ask you for money. Lifestyle (as opposed to professional) doms generally don’t want there to be any misunderstandings whatsoever about whether you can buy our attention, so we don’t ask for money. I’m simplifying a little bit there but you can still safely write off anyone who asks you for money. The scammer who is trying to extract money from you is definitely not the only dom who will ever show an interest in you and considering how little it takes to impress a dominant woman, you can definitely find another one.

And finally, since this post is already super long, you can expect having a real life relationship with a real live dominant woman to be fucking amazing even if it’s nothing like your fantasies. Seriously, getting to do this stuff for real is awesome even when there aren’t any complicated leather outfits involved.

Only the power exchange part of power exchange is required

In which Stabbity continues to mine Novices & Newbies for post topics 🙂

Only the power exchange part of power exchange is required, and that’s only because it’s not power exchange if you don’t, you know, exchange some power. You are not even slightly required to do power exchange if you don’t fucking want to, but that’s a separate post. This post is about how pain play, bondage, verbal humilation, financial domination, 24/7 TPE, eye contract restrictions, slave positions, consensual non-consent, and every other kink you could possibly list are absolutely not required or expected parts of power exchange relationships.

In the fetlife post that inspired this one, some poor submissive person was asking how they could make themselves be okay with “the verbal aspect of submission.” WTF, you say? Yeah, me too. There is no “verbal aspect of submission.” Verbal humiliation is fun for some people, so they do it. Pain play is fun for some people, so they do it. Slave positions are fun for some people, so they do it. But absolutely none of that is required!

People get all sorts of ridiculous ideas about how kink in general and power exchange in particular work from porn, questionable fiction, jerks on the internet who pretend they’re experts when they actually wrote everything on their site with one hand on their dick, misguided friends, etc, etc. Just because every single one of your dom’s favourite pornos involved verbal humiliation doesn’t mean that’s actually a fundamental part of submission or that you have to put up with it.

Things like verbal humiliation or pain play or bondage can reinforce power exchange (and be super fun!) but that in no way means they’re necessary to have a power exchange. The only thing that’s actually necessary is to freely choose to give someone who freely takes it, some degree of control over your life. You don’t have to own a single toy or sexy outfit, you don’t have to have any sex that’s not missionary position with the lights out (or have any sex at all, for that matter), you don’t have to use a single special title or code word, you don’t have to do punishments or eye contract restrictions or a single goddamn thing that doesn’t work for you and your partner.

It’s worth putting a little bit of a caveat here: sorting out a relationship is more complicated than “I love doing x and hate doing y so I’m going to hold out for someone who only does x and never does y”. Plenty of people agree to things they don’t absolutely love in and of themselves to make their partners happy and see it as a good deal. Plenty of people do things they hate on the face of them too because those things make them feel especially submissive and that’s worth it to them. It is 100% okay to decide for yourself that you don’t love, say, getting whipped but it makes her so happy that it’s worth it. It’s also 100% okay to decide that it’s not worth getting whipped and that you’re going to find someone who isn’t into impact play.

That said, I want to stress that it’s not weird to not like pain, it’s not weird to not like verbal humiliation, it’s not weird to not like bondage, and that there is definitely someone out there who is compatible with you. If you decide to do a thing you don’t enjoy, it should be because your partner brings so much joy into your life that one little thing you don’t love is a small price to pay, not because you’re scared you’ll never get the d/s relationship you need if you let your current partner go.

You don’t have to follow a script in your d/s relationship, you really and truly don’t. It doesn’t matter how many other people follow that script, it doesn’t matter if your dom follows that script, it doesn’t matter if all of your friends follow that script, it’s up to you and only you to decide how you want to be treated.

No matter what, you always, always have the right to say no to anything, any time. If your dom says you have to do things that don’t make you happy, they can go fuck themselves.